£50 million to boost islands’ economy

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The Prime Minister is to announce today [23 July] the UK Government is committing £50 million to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, unlocking the islands’ economic potential.

Mr Johnson will be marking one year as Prime Minister with a visit to Scotland. He will reaffirm his commitment to supporting all parts of the UK through the coronavirus pandemic.

The multimillion pound Islands Growth Deal will provide investment for local projects across the Scottish islands, driving sustainable economic growth and creating jobs. It will also help to attract further private and public sector investment.

Projects set to be supported by the Islands Growth Deal could include some which are developing space technology while others are researching new renewable energy systems. The deal will also support projects that will boost tourism and housing.

The announcement, made ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to Orkney, means that every part of Scotland is now covered by the innovative growth deals and takes UK Government’s investment in deals across Scotland to more than £1.5 billion.

To date, this funding has supported innovative and exciting projects across Scotland including: a new concert hall in Edinburgh – reaffirming the city as a global cultural leader, a feasibility study of the Borders Railway – looking at improving transport links between England and Scotland, and the world-leading Oil & Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen.

Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, who will accompany Mr Johnson on his visit today, said:

The City Region and Growth Deals will be crucial to our economic recovery from coronavirus. Today’s announcement means that every corner of Scotland will benefit from these and takes the UK Government’s investment in growth deals across Scotland to more than £1.5 billion.

These deals are just part of the unprecedented support that the UK Government is providing to people and businesses in Scotland during this time. We have supported 900,000 jobs in Scotland with our furlough and self-employed schemes, including 11,600 across the islands.

We look forward to working with our partners across the islands and the devolved administration in Scotland to develop innovative and effective proposals.

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